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SA's retirment fund industry is tops

By Staff Writer

South Africa's retirement fund industry is ranked among the 15 largest retirement fund industries in the world, according to the Association for Savings and Investment SA (ASISA) and the Actuarial Society of SA.

A recently published study the parties involved said that the retirement fund industry has eight million members and assets that were under management were close to the value of R2 trillion.

"The independent study by Compass Management Consulting was commissioned by the savings and investment industry with the aim of providing much-needed information on the administration cost of pension schemes to help inform the retirement reform debate."

The study showed that, when you take into consideration the unique constraints to South Africa, the local standalone pension fund schemes were managed on a more cost effective basis than some of their international counterparts, especially in cases where schemes had less than 10 000 members.

Umbrella funds, on average, however, appeared to not have reached economically viable levels of operation, according to the statement.
The actuary behind the study, Anton Davies said that the South African umbrella business was made up of many small disparate schemes, often with their own sets of rules.

"The proliferation of these small funds is the result of South Africa's unique economic landscape, which has resulted in a magnitude of small entrepreneurial companies."

Leon Campher, the CEO of ASISA, said the study clearly highlighted some of the strengths and weaknesses of the country's retirement fund industry.
"The South African retirement fund industry often stands accused of being inefficient and expensive.

"While this study, which is work in progress, shows that South Africa compares well internationally, it also highlights areas that can be improved."

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